Monday, March 29, 2004

# Posted 2:08 PM by Patrick Belton  

OPEN QUESTION: CNN notes today a Texas murder case, in which a woman is pleading insanity in the murder of two of her three children. The story goes on to note that if the jury were to agree with the defence, the defendant would go into a state psychiatric hospital's maximum security ward for evaluation, and could stay there for as long as the maximum sentence she could receive if convicted - in her case, 40 years.

Now here's the interesting part, which I'm quite curious about: as the reporter notes, "the jury will not be permitted to hear and consider that information."

Do any of our legally inclined readers happen to know why this is the case? Is the idea that the jury in this case should be ruling solely on the factual question of whether the defendant met the legal criteria for insanity, and that knowledge of the practical consequences of that determination could have the effect of altering the jury's decision on the question of fact? (As an incentive, the author of the winning legal analysis can receive an insane woman of their choice, drawn from the ranks of my ex-girlfriends....)
(0) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments: Post a Comment